Morning Sickness – My Story

I wrote this article while pregnant with my 4th child in 2001. I hadn’t thought of it for ages. Fortunately I found it on an old CD and still find it humorous, even if it does bring back some mixed feelings.

Do you have any similar morning sickness tales? Did you discover a magic cure for it? Any suggestions will be gratefully received.

Morning Sickness

For New Year 2000 My husband myself our 3 children and sister in laws family went to the local Brewsters fayre for a child friendly new year. So that we could have a drink we booked a room to stay overnight. The evening went with a swing; a great time was had by all. When we got to bed all the kids were asleep, “come on”, said my husband “lets do it, after all it is our anniversary”. (We got married New Years day, as I didn’t want a date that he could easily forget.) “What about the kids” I whisper. But as you can imagine after a few drinks anything looks attractive.

4 weeks later I feel oddly nausea’s a strange feeling that I’ve only ever had 3 times previously but I dismissed it, I couldn’t be pregnant all the kids were there when we did it. The feeling persisted so I eventually did a test-positive.

About weeks 6 is when the real nausea hits and the smell aversion begins. Firstly it’s not as everyone seems to tell you, that you feel sick when you wake in the morning, it’s more waking up because you have to be sick. Then in my house there’s always another little face peering along with mine in the bowl saying “mummy are you sick?” This would shortly lead to answering the phone with “Hello; sorry you can’t speak to my mum she’s being sick again”. But back to the mornings. After the initial retching, I had to quickly get dressed and then dress my two year old before the coffee smell left me reeling once again. (This is bad new as I’m a 10-cup a day person and the lack of caffeine makes me even more miserable than the vomiting.)

Each day my husband would say “Try eating something”, as if I didn’t know that but every time without fail I would bring it all back 5 minutes later.

Then there were the days when I had to stop the car on the way to school to open the door and be sick. So I started carrying some plastic bags on our journeys and as soon as the wretching started one of the children would casually hand me a bag.

As I taught piano part time at school I had to start taking biscuits with me which I would try and nibble unnoticed. This would help until about 11am when the kitchen staff started cooking what smelled like a mixture of dog food and tripe for lunch. On several occasions I had to leave the pupil saying, “just carry on playing” while I ran to the nearest toilet to wretch.

After a few weeks of this continuous feeling of nausea punctuated by several wretches an hour over the slightest smell or movement, everyone is starting to lose patience.

My husband constantly said, “stop whinging there is no smell” after he’d suffered “I can’t go in the kitchen it smell’s bad” or “I feel sick” for the 100th time. So he started lighting aromatherapy burners in every room, the smell just made me sick and tetchy.

I had to change all my cleaning products as each one smelled so terrible that after a few days of making me sick I’d move onto the next make. Our cupboards had stores of every type of household fluid, spray, cream and wipes stocked by Tesco.

I tried all the advice:

  1. Have toast or a dry biscuit before you get up (well vomiting woke me every day so that didn’t work).
  2. Ginger. Well there’s:
    • Ginger beer (which contains little or no ginger).
    • Ginger biscuits, which would have been okay if the kids didn’t keep eating them all.
    • Ginger and Lemon tea, which my husband kindly bought me, but I started throwing up just opening the box, the smell was so noxious.
    • Crystal Ginger, which no sane human could possibly suck.
  3. Eat little and often. That’s a good one if you have someone to help. I didn’t’ and since I vomited just thinking of opening the kitchen door, I gave up.
  4. Plenty of rest. I have 3 children 2 jobs and 1 husband. When exactly can I rest?
  5. Sea Bands. I rushed for them with the first pregnancy after hearing they were a life changing experience. That time I didn’t get vertical for the first 16 weeks but I told myself that if I took them off it would be much worse. As if it could have been. 2nd time I put them on but common sense told me that being so sick once again it was just not the cure I was hoping for. I didn’t even bother the third time and felt no worse, well I couldn’t feel any worse if I tried.
  6. At the end of his tether a doctor often offers hospital admission. Over my dead body! Being a midwife I know that as lovely as the midwives and doctors are to your face, behind closed doors they are either implying it’s all in the mind and your making it up because you are chemically imbalanced or they are just laughing at your wretched situation.

By Week 10 I’m beginning to feel like I’ve been pregnant and vomiting forever. Nausea is now a way of life. The comment “Lisa you look terrible”, is like water off a ducks back and anyone who says, “I hardly had any sickness when I was pregnant” was instantly off my Christmas list.

My friends stopped asking me out with them because I went to the cinema and was sick in the stalls – well how can anyone eat sweet popcorn? Then we went for a meal to the local Italian but I had to leave after the starter arrived due to the overpowering garlic smell.

Week12. This should be the magic week the books say. The nausea is supposed to be going so why can’t I get into the kitchen without that terrible feeling. The kids are sick of eating at Tesco or Pizza Hut and having to sit directly under the air conditioning to cushion the smell.


Then comes the day when I fancy a coffee and drink it without a single retch and the feeling in my stomach isn’t like riding a rollercoaster while eating a burger. I can’t think when it started but without knowing it I’ve begun to feel human again.

My husband is thanking his lucky stars and the kids may be allowed a home cooked meal. Only 41/2 months to go…. Oh I feel a little tired now…………..

23 responses to “Morning Sickness – My Story”

  1. Rose

    oh sorry Lisa, i couldnt help but giggle, mainly because it brought back so many memories! You look ‘radiant’ in that picture!

  2. Lisa Barrett

    Nice to know who your friends are Rose :)

  3. Cinnamon

    Hilarious! I’m afraid I’d be one of those people off your Christmas list because I didn’t get sick at all, but I’ve only been pregnant once so maybe my turn’s coming. And then I might not find this article so funny.

  4. mikelinz

    My twin pregnancy was a nightmare of nausea, vomiting and misery for the first 3 months. But a close friend had 9 months of vomiting. She told me that most days she lay on the floor of the bathroom by the toilet because it felt cool and there was less distant to walk to be sick.
    Due to a contraceptive mishap she became pregnant again very quickly and then spent pregnancy number two lying on the bathroom floor with a 10month old…
    Her husband had a vasectomy after that!

  5. Rebekah Costello

    I recently discovered your blog and I just wanted to say that I LOVE it. It’s so refreshing to read the perspective you present here! Thank you. Now you will be stuck with me reading and commenting…haha!

  6. Lisa Barrett

    Thanks for reading. Looking forward to the comments.
    Twins, I can’t even imagine how nausea’s that must be, I can however relate to lying on the cold floor.

  7. I am Brooke...

    ah yes, the laying on the cold floor. my prime spot was in front of the open fridge door on the tiles so i could reach the cold water and monitor the older kids… and the laundry sink is very close by!

    great post lisa. loved it! from one mega chucker to another.

    x B

  8. Tash

    my sister had no morning sickness with baby #1 – a girl, horrific almost 5 month sickness with #2 – a boy, and some good days some bad for the first 12 weeks with pregnancy #3 – twins, boy and girl!! Go figure!!!

  9. trish

    Just recently discovered your blog, which I love, BTW.

    I used Vitamin B6 for my second pregnancy, at my midwife’s suggestion, and it worked literally overnight. I believe I used 50mg/day. It was a miracle.

  10. Lisa Barrett

    Trish, I’m sure that I could have tried other things. I use B6 with Vit C and garlic for natural immunity boosting. Looking back I think I felt to wretched lots of the time to be logical. It was all worth it though.

  11. Kathryn

    Thank you sharing your story Lisa. I feel very similar. I am constantly chucking, no longer excited to be pregnant and just want this nightmare to be over. It’s horrible. I have never felt so sick and life is so hard. Something as small as going to the shops is much more than I can cope with – I am becoming quickly familiar with many public toilets utilized for throwing up. The constant nausea is so debilitating. It seems like I’ve tried everything but nothing really helps! I prey I continue to keep down dinner to avoid hospitalization. I’ll let you know if I find a miracle cure.

  12. Tiffany Zimmermann

    UGH! I remember that feeling… as an 8 time ‘survivor’ of severe HG – if I heard one more person tell me to eat ginger, crackers, flat lemonade, before getting up, before going to bed, be more positive, its a good sign, suck it up, other women aren’t that sick etc… I would have biffed them… that is, had I the energy to move and moving didn’t bring on a vomiting episode!! Almost as annoying as dealing with doctors spouting the aforementioned platitudes and ineffectual advice because they dont know/understand/ accept the disorder dismissing you when you tell THEM what treatment plan you need because you have lived experience and researching whatever up to date information there might be out there, because they have no idea… : 0

  13. Belinda Costello

    I had horrible morning sickness with my pregnancy too! Up till week 16 it was everyday all day sorta thing. the only thing that let me keep working was Ondansetron. We had it at work and I would take one to manage to stay on my feet for 8 hrs. However it gave me awful constipation which was almost as bad as the MS! Oh well. My husband keeps reminding me I wanted to die when I tell him how clucky I am for our next baby. I hope this next time will be a little easier. ps Lisa I like that photo of you up there;) I didn’t recognise you without the dreads tho:)

  14. Michelle Richards

    Reading that just brought it all flooding back :) Comforting to know I didn’t suffer alone….11 yrs later & I STILL remember the exact location of every public toilet/ bin in Adelaide!!

  15. Amy Gow

    Lisa, I’m having a great time looking through all your posts; thanks for sharing your valuable knowledge and experience. I will jump in here with a little something that has worked for me and a few others I’ve suggested it to:
    Vitamin B6. I know that one of the responses mentioned trying 50 mg B6, but in my experience it’s just not enough. Try 200 mg each day for two days, then 100 mg thereafter. After a couple of weeks, you can try a day off. If you the nausea comes back, start taking 100 mg per day until you are through the “morning sickness”. I would suggest that moms who need it throughout their pregnancy taper off its use in the last several weeks of pregnancy; high intake of prenatal B6 near term has been associated with seizures in the newborn.

    This worked wonders for me during my third pregnancy. My best friend had been placed on leave from work due to her morning sickness, caved to her discomfort and got a prescription for Diclectin (doxlyamine succinate(antihistamine), pyridoxine hydrochloride(B6)-delayed release tablet). This is a Canadian drug, I am not sure if it is marketed in Australia but I am sure there is something like it. This only made her so drowsy that she’d sleep for 12 hours. In desperation she gave in and tried the above B6 regimen. It worked!

    I would love to know if this works for your clients. Please let me know if it does!


  16. Lynda Gibson

    Reminds me of being about 7 weeks pregnant and on an early morning flight from New Zealand to Sydney with shockiong morning sickness. Had managed some water and dry crackers prior to flying but soon needed to chuck. Was sitting in seat ready with the vomit bag when the stewardess kindly suggested I go to the toilet – something she lived to regret. Made it down the aisle, grabbed the handle to the toilet and it came up in one fluid motion and all over the galley floor. The stewardess and colleague then spent the rest of the flight cleaning it up. Needless to say for the following three vomits during the flight they let me stay in my seat and the stranger next to me just keep passing the sick bags. She was the one I felt sorry for!

  17. Stephanie

    Well, I’ve just found your website, and I’ve been all over. I know it’s late to comment on a two year old article, but here goes. I found a website, where the advice in natural remedies have mostly been successful. I haven’t been pregnant since finding this article, so I’m not sure if her suggestion would work, but I’m actually planning to try it next go round, as my first pregnancy I lost 20 pounds – I used to joke that pregnancy was the best fad diet, ever, lol! And my second one, I found Zofran, which allowed me to skip so many of those mornings laying on the cold, hard floor. Here’s the link, hope it might help someone?

  18. Nik

    I know this is an old post but thought I would throw in my cures for morning sickness.

    1/2 lemon squeezed into boiling water whenever you feel like vomiting. I needed upto 12 cups per day sometimes. But the all time total cure for me was “short soup”. After a small bowl of the broth, I could eat the wontons and/ or even a regular meal!

    It was truley a miracle for me so I hope it helps someone else out there.

  19. Liarna

    thanks for the postings :) my husband and i just decided to start trying for a kid. I can’t even be on the pill cos the estragen makes me almost vomit (try havinf morning sickness with out the pregnancy :S haha) so im really not looking forward to this at all. I’ll definitely buying B6 tablet when i find out. :)

  20. Sadie

    i;’m the same at the moment, 10weeks gone, my other half thinks i am making excuses not to go into our kitchen, i can’t even manage the washing up because of the smell making me want to throw up :(
    as exactly the same with my first as well, let’s hope the sickness goes at the same time too!!

    other from that nothing at all worked for my sickness, either time :(

    i am a huge tea drinker, i know the feeling of not even having your 1 of 10 cups a day, it adds to how ‘awesome’ you feel from being sick all day!

  21. Hayley ashton

    Thankgod im not alone i feel awful im 7 weeks pregnant n not been out off bed for days i feel so sick everytime i stand ul im wrteching!